Vivo is one of the many brands which has raised its levels and set itself some flagship ambitions in the past few years. The Vivo X series is the company’s way of showing what it can do when the price is not a barrier and innovation gets more room to evolve. With the help of Zeiss Optics, the X series champions itself as a true photography device that manages to equally match the performance needs of a smartphone user.
The new X90 series is a continuation in that journey and all our eyes were set on the value of the X90 Pro which has launched as the most-premium X series phone in the Indian market. The new Vivo X90 Pro is priced at Rs 84,999 which as many would say, is the Apple-Samsung territory. And like Xiaomi and OnePlus, Vivo is looking to change the mindset of buyers and offer them a compelling product for much less than what you would pay for those two brands these days. We spent a few weeks using the X90 Pro to see if the phone can match up to those lofty ambitions and appeal to the buyers.
Vivo X90 Pro Review: What’s Cool?
The first thing you notice about the X90 Pro is its build quality, which moves away from the textured panel on the X80 Pro to a premium-looking leather finish and a curved design that gives you a good hand feel. Leather panels usually wear out after a while but Vivo claims it has used the finest materials for its panel that will last much longer.
Even though the X90 Pro weighs around 214 grams, the overall balance of the device makes it easier to hold and use easily with one hand. In addition to this, you have a phone with IP68 rating which makes it durable against water and dust.
The display on the X90 Pro has an AMOLED 1B panel that supports full HD+ resolution with a 120Hz refresh rate screen. The colours are punchy and the overall quality of the display is impressive as the colours look natural and pleasing to the eye at the same time. Watching videos or reading stories on the 6.78-inch screen will pose no problems.
Vivo has taken a different and a bold approach by choosing the MediaTek Dimensity 9200 SoC as its main hardware. The device has launched with 12GB RAM and 256GB for buyers in India. To be honest, we weren’t sure if the hardware was going to help Vivo stake its claim in the flagship category but as we started using and putting the phone through the daily grind, we noticed this chipset is as capable as the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 SoC.
It can handle the heavy tasks and deliver gaming at the highest-supported settings and run without any glitch. You can run Chrome, play music and have multiple other apps open in the background and still get a fluid experience. This level of performance is also supported by the Funtouch OS 3 version which has equally surprised us with its smoothness and less friction. Vivo has talked about improving the software for its devices, and for the first time we saw it in action.
Now, let’s talk about the cameras. Vivo is using a triple camera system and the star of the show is the 50MP wide 1-inch type sensor tuned by Zeiss. It comes with OIS. You also have a 50MP telephoto sensor with OIS and a 12MP ultrawide sensor. The main sensor steals the headlines with its impressive clarity and detail-rich visuals.
You get ample details in low light as well. We tested the phone through various conditions and even managed to capture moving objects like cars and scooters thanks to the customised sports mode that Vivo has developed. You can’t avoid looking at the pictures and be amazed at the improvements that smartphone cameras have made.
The telephoto sensor also helps you magnify subjects and produce images that would be unheard of earlier. The ultrawide is also there to add to the versatility. This year itself we have seen Samsung, then Xiaomi and now Vivo showcase the evolution of a camera on smartphones, and it is hard not to get excited thinking about the future in this space.
And finally, Vivo X90 Pro completes the criteria for a smartphone buyer by packing a 4870mAh battery that supports 120W charging with the bundled charger. You also get 50W wireless charging support but also through the proprietary charger which has to be bought separately.
The battery on this phone is a powerhouse and thanks to efficient power management we were consistently getting 6+ hours of screen-on-time with heavy usage that even includes using the phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot for my drives. Even when you run out of juice, the 120W charging ensures you are up and running in less than 30 minutes.
Vivo X90 Pro Review: What’s Not So Cool?
Even after praising so much, you can’t avoid talking about some of the drawbacks of the X90 Pro. Firstly, the brand has opted for a non-LTPO panel which means the adaptive refresh rates on the screen rely on a smart switch or stick to 60Hz and 120Hz based on what you prefer. For a phone that costs over Rs 80,000, missing out on a LTPO panel is hard to justify.
The design of the phone shows its good side but those cameras have come at the cost of a protruding module which sits prominently at the back. Some might say that large sensors need more space especially if the overall dimensions are trimmed out. But even then, not having a case could be an issue for the user.
The hardware is mostly powerful but we did notice the device heating up once the strain on the chip was more than required. This was done to see how the phone holds up in extreme cases. The first two cameras get all the love and we can’t argue with the fact that the ultrawide sensor on the X90 Pro has been left out of the race. The quality isn’t bad but it doesn’t stand up to the promise shown by the 50MP duos.
The software has improved but the bloatware is still there. Yes, you can delete/uninstall most of them and even turn off notifications for others but for a premium phone, these are highly avoidable.
Vivo X90 Pro Review: Should You Buy?
Vivo X90 Pro is a flagship phone in every sense. It has the design, the hardware and the cameras to do the talking. The software has come leaps and bounds as well. The battery life coupled with those charging speeds is the icing on the cake. Having said that, when you enter the Rs 80,000 segment, the demands are greater and the pressure to compete with the likes of Apple and Samsung makes the challenge tougher.
But it is impressive to see Vivo stand up to the giants and even give a good account for itself when you have the Xiaomi 13 Pro and the Google Pixel 7 Pro in the same bracket. Vivo offering international warranty means you can definitely pick this if the budget and the needs are well matched.
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